A little juxaposition of news items reveals how the Trump administration views transparency in government.
First comes Scott Pruitt’s announcement that EPA will seek to implement a regulation that will require all EPA rulemaking to be based only on scientific evidence for which the underlying data is publicly available. That will prevent the EPA from formulating regulations based on medical data that is confidential.
According to Pruitt, “The science that we use is going to be transparent, it’s going to be reproducible.” Junk science purveyor and member of Trump’s transition team Stephen J. Milloy added, “This will really open up EPA science to public scrutiny.”
Meanwhile, over at the American Bankers Association conference, Mick Mulvaney, interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced that the CFPB would cut public access to the bureau’s database of consumer complaints. Mulvaney explained: “I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government.”
Evidently, transparency is good when it hinders regulations to protect the public health, but bad when it helps to protect consumers.